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Today marks the 20-year anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.‘s death. Christopher Wallace, the infamous Brooklyn-bred rapper, would have been 44 years old, had he survived the four gunshots that killed him in 1997. Nearly two decades after his death, Biggie is still the greatest rapper of all time.

Emerged from the shady corners of Brooklyn, Biggie Smalls made his way from selling crack and freestyling in the projects to popping champagne and smashing Billboard charts with multiple hit records in just a few years. His freestyle roots would carry over into how Biggie made rhymes in the studio. He wrote down thoughts in a notebook, but would never bring it into the studio. Instead, he riffed off the beat and came up with rhymes on the spot.

Ready To Die, the first and only album during his lifetime, and Life After Death, released just few weeks after Biggie’s death, are all time classic albums, which sound up-to-date even after uncountable replays.

The background of establishing The Notorious B.I.G. as the king is very well represented in the documentary Bigger Than Life, which could be streamed below.

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